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Scammers continue to target Cumbrians

[P]olice are continuing to receive calls from members of the public regarding a scam which attempts to gain money.

The scam relates to a member of the public receiving a call from someone purporting to be from HMRC, stating that they had an outstanding tax bill.

The latest incident reported to police was on December 12th, when a woman from the Millom area, was instructed to pay the £597 bill in iTunes vouchers. She went to a local supermarket and purchased the vouchers – the details which she handed over the phone to the fraudster.

A Cumbria Constabulary spokesperson said: “We want to advise people to be vigilant to prevent them from falling victim.

“Our advice for such scams is to disregard the message. Do not contact them on the number they request you to call on and do not hand over any money. If possible record the details and if you are in any doubt, contact HMRC to verify the information.

“The HMRC website states they would never use these methods to tell you about a tax rebate, a penalty or even to get personal payment information, and they would not request overdue tax to be paid in iTunes vouchers or similar.

“We’d also like to take this opportunity to alert retailers to the fact that this is happening. If you get a customer attempting to buy high value amounts of iTunes vouchers, please help that customer by checking it is not being purchased to pay a HMRC tax bill or other debt, and report this matter.”

Anyone who comes across such a scam should contact Action Fraud at www.actionfraud.org.uk or contact the Action Fraud Hotline on 0300 123 2040 as they are the investigatory body for offences of this type.

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